In need of advice, but this is also a bit of a vent.
My step-son is 3 1/2 and is with us every other weekend. Over the past few visitations DH and I noticed that he is back-talking more and more. It's mostly stuff we assume he hears from his 8 year old cousin who lives with him (i.e. "you're aggravating me, you're on my nerves, etc."), and he will say it any time he doesn't get what he wants, even if it is as simple as "here let me help you find the story in your book." We have reminded him that this is not how we speak to people, and especially not to adults. He has been sent to time-out for continuing to talk this way.
Now, we have him for our Christmas visitation (last Friday through the 26th). It is only the first few days and the temper tantrums and back talking have gotten out of control ("I'm going to shoot daddy," "Momma is coming to pick me up and I'm leaving you here," growling at us, literally looking like he is ready to punch us in the face). He doesn't get upset or cry when he gets in trouble, he gets furious. We try to be decently flexible with the rules while still enforcing them because his rules at daddy's house are different than they are at mommy's, so he usually gets at least one reminder, sometimes two depending on how far apart they are, when he breaks a rule, before he gets in trouble (unless the behavior includes a physical form of aggression). Any advice on the back-talking? How to handle it? What has worked for you? I hate for him to spend his whole visitation in trouble, or us ready to scream, so there has to be a better solution.
This morning he woke up early, pitched a fit about having to throw away his trash after breakfast, sat in time-out for 3 minutes, was spanked for kicking the cabinets (this has been a standing rule in our house), calmed down, said he was ready to get out of time-out, we explained the bad behavior, asked for an apology, he back-talked and refused to say sorry (after asking more than once) so he was sent to his room, then spanked again for slamming the door (after a warning that if he slammed the door he would be spanked). I know this sounds ridiculous even as I am typing it. We try to limit punishments for most everything to a 3 minute time-out, an explanation of why he was in trouble, an apology for the bad behavior, hugs and I love yous and move on. We do believe in spanking but it is limited only to hitting, kicking, biting, or purposely trying to damage any piece of furniture. Please realize that 1. Neither of us have a child in our house full-time, and 2. I am asking for your helpful advice or constructive criticism.